Another reader, Larry, sent us a photo of his Beretta M9A1. He writes …

I bought Beretta’s M9A1 about a year ago and put a couple of boxes of range-grade ammo through it every other week or so. Never a jam or misfire. Big and heavy to absorb recoil so my wife isn’t afraid to use it, either. I love its performance, its feel, and … its looks.

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  • Given the earlier discussion of surplus Beretta 92S, note that the magazine shown is still notched for use in the original 92 and 92S.

    • Chase Buchanan

      And single-stack. I hate California.

      • McEsteban

        Have lived in California. I don’t believe there is a single stack full sized Beretta in the state. Just double stacked mags that are capped.

      • billyoblivion

        I miss California. Not the gun laws, not the >politics censored< but the weather was nice and I shot with a great bunch of guys down in San Jose.

  • ManBear

    Hey good lookin!

  • Stompy

    I hated my issued M9 I had to carry in Iraq. Too big and heavy/awkward. I would rather have had a GLOCK, SIG, HK, S&W M&P, XD, anything but the M9. Still a cool looking and classic pistol, just not for me.

    • Lance

      Small hands eh? opposite for me sucking SIG too small.

      • Wetcoaster

        Yeah, I’ve got stubby fingers myself and the second I picked up a 92/96, it was “Nope”

  • schizuki

    It’s always bugged me that Beretta never updated their grip panels to match the “toe” flare the US military requested be added to the bottom front of the grip frame. It’s like a big zit on Kate Beckinsale’s nose – once you notice it, you can’t not notice it.

    • FourString

      why’d you hafta point it out D: >

      • JSmath

        It gets worse when you chase the line upward and realize the same lack of attention to detail was applied up there as well.

  • USMC03Vet

    That is so pristine it almost looks like a render.

  • Soooooo….M9;Beretta. Get or not Get? Thoughts?

    • Lance

      If you can get a A1 model cheap get it. Any 92FS is a good investment.

      • billyoblivion


        I don’t think that word means what you think that word means.

        An “investment” is something you put money into hoping to get more out at some point. The second you take the pistol out of the box and put a round through it it’s now used and will never give a positive ROI.

        • FourString

          It’s only an investment if you rob someone with it >_<

        • JSmath

          Or if you ever have to use it to defend yourself and it works as intended. Then, it’s paid for itself.

    • billyoblivion

      If you need/want a fighting handgun, no. It was an awesome design 40 years ago. Today? Glock, XD, M&P etc.

      If you want a reliable 9mm for any other purpose, it’s a good, solid reliable gun. I have one, and while it’s not my first choice to carry, I’ll not get rid of it.

      • As far as the age comment goes: I’m not buying it. There are multiple decade old designs that are STILL being made and issued to troops and bought by civilians that function very well. See AR-15, AK-47, 1911, for proof.
        Besides, buying a Glock or a Glock clone just seems…..lame compared to a Beretta. I’d probably pick up a Glock to get the basics and safety of shooting down; but after the fact, never again. Besides, you complimented it right after you dissed it, so why should I trust your opinion?

        • billyoblivion

          I’m sorry that confused you.

          Let me try to simplify it a bit, then I’ll explain why.

          If you want or need a *fighting* handgun, there are more modern *better* designs, the Glock, Springfield XD, and the S&W M&P lines are good examples.

          They have a simpler manual of arms, and a consistent trigger pull through the whole process. For a fighting handgun the safety is a serious training issue–we have seen in force-on-force training sessions where there is a very real chance of getting a tiny bit of pain that even reasonably well trained police and civilians will miss or forget the safety and simply get shot because the took and extra 2-3 second to get the gun in the fight. This doesn’t happen with most of the modern polymer pistols as they either don’t have an external safety or they put it where you can’t miss it.

          If you want a 9mm because you have the “fighting handgun” niche covered, then the Beretta is a fine, fine gun. It is well made, well tested and reliable. It’s negatives (weight, size, double action first shot, single action until de-cocked) aren’t as relevant in a firearm that is stored a lot, shot a little and carried very, very rarely.

          I have seen, and had other tell me of 92s/M9s that continued to function when *horribly* dirty, and I know of others who have used them in combat to good effect. They are solid, accurate guns. Mine used to be my only pistol, and I got reasonably good with it. I can do a bit better with a Glock, or even more with my P7. So the Beretta gets relegated to tasks that it is better for.

          In short the Beretta is a good gun. There are others that are better. It just depends on what your needs are.

    • Dustin in Texas

      It’s not a beginner’s firearm. So, if this is your first pistol, I’d stick with a polymer striker-fired system like Glock, SA XD, or S&W M&P.

      If you’re a little seasoned, I think it’s great. Reliable. Heavy. Fills the hand.
      And, because I grew up watching Lethal Weapon and Die Hard, there is a strong nostalgia factor for me.

      • SM

        I’ve always been curious why people recommend a polymer striker fired pistol to a new pistol shooter. I know they are equally capable, but what is the advantage to a striker gun?

        • Commonsense23

          One trigger pull versus two with a DA/SA gun.

        • billyoblivion

          To elaborate on what Commonsense23 says, the 92fs, and as near as I can tell all the rest of Beretta’s firearms are either first round Double Action, second+ round Single Action, or straight double action.

          The DA is long, and not quite as nice as a well tuned revolver.

          Your Polymer Wonder 9s have mediocre triggers, but they are generally shorter than the 92s double action, and are entirely consistent from pull to pull.

          This consistency allows the beginner to focus on the rest of the problem–sight picture and alignment, surprise break (if target shooting) or to work on the front-sight-press if doing action/combat shooting.

          Also in a self-defense situation the glock doesn’t have the safety to remember to remove.

  • Andy

    I’ve always wanted to like the 92 series, but the grip is so needlessly large that it’s cumbersome to handle.

    It may be heresy, but I’d love to see a 92 with a polymer lower. That would take away the problems with the oversized grip.

  • Lance

    Notice USMC still buying new A1s think Army could reduce some issues buy following the Corps.

    • billyoblivion

      The army could reduce lots of issues by following the Marine Corps.

      Semper Fi!

      • Yellow Devil

        Well we tried, but the Marines put their Eagle, Globe, and Anchors all over everything. 🙂

        • billyoblivion

          It’ll buff out.

  • Jack Morris

    For all it’s faults, nobody can deny how sexy the 92 looks. Too bad it’s grip is so freaking Xbox huge.

    • FourString

      Xbox, hah

  • Raoul O’Shaugnessy

    Manly gun, girly mag.

    • FourString

      Click to see: Manly gun on girly mag action

  • FourString

    I hope you stick some Mec-Gar 20’s in that puppy

    • Dustin in Texas

      From now on, those will be the only mags I use in my 92A1 and my CX4.

      Just got two and used them in a match this weekend. Flawless.

  • denner

    Will never sell or trade mine. It’s proven itself as a battle pistol and still going strong. You can have your Glock, Sig H&K, S&W M&P. Nothing shoots like a 92.

  • Blake

    For the folks griping about the M9’s grip size, apparently Ergo Grips solve the problem:

  • MikeF

    I always liked the slide release position on the M9. Its in the perfect spot for my thumb to manipulate, compared to my Sig P220, which is awkward for some reason.

  • claymore

    Can’t see the problem carried one daily for 15 years and qualified distinguished expert over and over and my fingers are so stubby two instructors gave up on trying to teach me guitar playing and said forget it. On our department nobody complained the grip was too large.

  • Dustin in Texas

    Anybody else get their introduction to these from Martin Riggs and John McClane?

  • Menger40

    I spy Hornady Critical Defense (or possibly Critical Duty)